Congressman drafting bill to ban metered bandwidth billing

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) announced he is drafting legislation to make it illegal for Internet service providers to charge customers based upon how much data they download. The proposed law comes in response to Time Warner Cable's (TWC) plans to expand trials of metered broadband service to four markets, including the congressman's home district.

Massa blasted TWC's plans as "monopolistic" and said it would only force consumers to pay more. TWC has yet to comment on the legislation.

Triggering the congressman's outrage was TWC's revision to its metered billing plan, which included a cap on overage charges at $75 per month and a $15 per month entry tier for subscribers who use less than a gigabyte per month. A consumer currently getting unlimited Internet access for $40 a month would pay $150 per month under the new plan, said Massa.

TWC says that the new pricing models are like those used by wireless phone carriers, while Massa said the cable company has yet to explain how increased Internet usage increases their costs.

For more:
- Multchannel News on Congressional action against broadband caps. Article.

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